The unwritten rule of Major League Baseball is if one player fights, then the whole team fights. Bench clearing brawls and melees are a part of the game and each season sees at least one player head to the mound after being plunked with a pitch.
Every baseball season sees at least one headline grabbing bench clearing brawl, but there are some that are remembered over time due to the players involved and the carnage that occurs. The five brawls below are some of baseball’s memorable (or not) melees.
(Taken from Betway’s article “The un-written rules of baseball”)
Mariners vs. Orioles
The Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles engaged in one of the most memorable melees of the last 30 years in June 1993 due to the amount of destruction that took place. Mariners player Chris Bosio suffered a broken collarbone, while blood was spilled on both sides. The fight started when Baltimore pitcher Mike Mussina hit Seattle’s Bill Haselman in his first plate appearance following a home run. The Mariners’ catcher headed straight to the mound and benches cleared. The fight between the teams was one of the more intense you will ever see in the big leagues.
Roger Clemens vs. Mike Piazza
The Subway Series between the New York Yankees and New York Mets seems a lifetime ago, but the fight that ensued between Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza still sticks out in the mind. Clemens had beaned Piazza earlier in the season during an interleague game with the catcher accusing the hurler of doing it on purpose. This led to bad blood between the two when the World Series started in October. In Game 2 of the World Series, Piazza broke his bat on a Clemens’ pitch with the barrel-end of the bat landing at the pitcher’s feet. Clemens immediately picked up the piece of wood and fired it at Piazza, who was running to first base. It is one of the most memorable World Series moments of the last 20 years.
Tim Belcher vs. Chan Ho Park
For anyone thinking it is a good idea to throw at an opposing pitcher, they should consider Chan Ho Park and Tim Belcher in 1999. Belcher landed a “forceful tag” on Park during the teams’ interleague game with the South Korean taking exception. Just when Belcher was ready to avoid a punch from Park, the Dodger pitcher landed a forearm followed by a kick. The brawl is memorable due to the barrage Park threw at Belcher.
Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura
Nolan Ryan may have been 46-years old in August 1993, but be he could still bring the heat. Ryan could also hold his own in a fight as Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura found out after charging the mound. Ryan hit the Chicago hitter in the back with a fastball and after thinking it over for a few seconds, Ventura made a half-hearted charge to the mound. Ryan quickly put Ventura in a headlock and began pounding on his cranium UFC-style. Ventura was ejected while Ryan remained in the game once the fight had fizzled out.
Pedro Martinez vs. Don Zimmer
In the 2003 ALCS, one of the most memorable melees in Red Sox-Yankees history occurred. Pedro Martinez and Clemens both contributed to a powder keg incident that exploded after the latter threw at Manny Ramirez. Despite not being the spark to light the fire, Martinez and Don Zimmer found themselves tussling with the former throwing the later down to the ground. Zimmer was 72 at the time and Martinez was reviled by all outside of Boston for years after the incident.